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Tue May 12, 2020, 02:33 PM

The Atlantic - David Frum : Trump Has Lost the Plot

The president is talking about things most Americans can’t comprehend, let alone care about.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/trump-has-lost-plot/611548/



A couple of years ago, BuzzFeed asked a former White House official to explain the logic behind some bizarre Trump action. The official responded with one of the master quotes of the Trump era. President Trump, the official said, is not playing “the sort of three-dimensional chess people ascribe to decisions like this. More often than not he’s just eating the pieces.” Over Mother’s Day and then through Monday—and who knows, perhaps continuing today—Trump has fired off hundreds of rounds of weapons-grade lunacy on Twitter. When Trump does this kind of thing, many are ready with an explanation: He’s rallying his base; he’s distracting his critics; he’s challenging the existence of reality itself.

But these explanations miss the point. Trump horribly and uniquely bungled the coronavirus crisis. The human result is mass death and Great Depression–scale unemployment. The political result is that while leaders in Britain and almost everywhere else in the democratic world have been boosted by a surge in public support and approval, Trump has not. The governors who have clashed with Trump have seen their poll numbers rise; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo may now be the most popular politician in the country. Governors who support Trump, like Florida’s Ron DeSantis and Georgia’s Brian Kemp, have seen their numbers tumble.

Trump trails Joe Biden in national polls by at least five points, as he has done all year. Trump is even lagging behind in swing-state polls. He is down by three points in Florida, five in North Carolina, and seven in Pennsylvania and Michigan. An internal Republican National Committee poll of the 16 least-decided states shows Trump behind in virtually all of them—so much so that he seems likely to drag the Republican Senate majority down with him, The Washington Post reported.

Trump’s psychology is defined by his terror of rejection. The most stinging insult in his vast vocabulary of disdain is loser. And yet every poll, every powerful Biden TV ad, forces Trump to contemplate that he is headed toward a historic humiliation. He’ll stand with Jimmy Carter and Herbert Hoover, the incumbents rejected because they failed to manage economic crises. Trump failed to prevent the crisis. Out of envy and spite, he dismantled the pandemic-warning apparatus his predecessors had bequeathed him. Trump failed to manage the crisis. At every turn, he gave priority to the short-term management of the stock market instead. Trump failed to message the crisis. He not only lacks empathy; he despises empathy.

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39 replies, 5823 views

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Arrow 39 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Atlantic - David Frum : Trump Has Lost the Plot (Original post)
Celerity May 2020 OP
JenniferJuniper May 2020 #1
Hugin May 2020 #2
BadgerMom May 2020 #20
yardwork May 2020 #26
hatrack May 2020 #3
Lock him up. May 2020 #28
Midnight Writer May 2020 #4
Lock him up. May 2020 #29
SWBTATTReg May 2020 #5
Sogo May 2020 #25
Lock him up. May 2020 #30
Stuart G May 2020 #6
kimbutgar May 2020 #7
colorado_ufo May 2020 #9
kimbutgar May 2020 #34
Tipperary May 2020 #8
Pepsidog May 2020 #16
leftieNanner May 2020 #21
spanone May 2020 #10
Hekate May 2020 #11
BadgerMom May 2020 #22
flibbitygiblets May 2020 #12
Lock him up. May 2020 #32
chia May 2020 #13
Hekate May 2020 #14
lunatica May 2020 #19
Hekate May 2020 #23
lunatica May 2020 #24
Cha May 2020 #15
lunatica May 2020 #17
littlemissmartypants May 2020 #18
yardwork May 2020 #27
BlueJac May 2020 #31
Nitram May 2020 #33
Celerity May 2020 #35
Nitram May 2020 #37
Hermit-The-Prog May 2020 #36
demmiblue May 2020 #38
Paladin May 2020 #39

Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 02:40 PM

1. One must have before one can lose.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 02:46 PM

2. I'm not sure I'd lump Jimmy Carter in with Herbert Hoover.

and no mention of GHWB? What about that one termer who lost because people read his lips?

On edit: I'd particularly not lump President Carter in with the Liposuction Clinic Dumpster Fire.

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Response to Hugin (Reply #2)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:19 PM

20. Frum is a wonderful ally right now. I embrace that. BUT,

he’s a neocon. That’s the lens through which he sees the past and probably the hopefully less chaotic future.

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Response to Hugin (Reply #2)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:40 PM

26. I agree!

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 02:56 PM

3. The conclusion is perfect:

Trump is all about Trump. That’s always been true. For three years, though, Trump was protected from himself by the prosperity he inherited from others. Trump has squandered that prosperity, as he previously squandered the fortune bequeathed by his father. The consequences are here. The fairy tales Trump tells on Twitter will not conceal those consequences from the voters Trump needs.

They weren’t listening before. Now they are. And what they hear is not: Obama was mean to me. What they hear is: I cannot do this job.

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Response to hatrack (Reply #3)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:58 PM

28. The only job loser45 can do is to cheat at golf. n/t

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 02:59 PM

4. Ex-Bush adviser comparing Trump to Jimmy Carter? Gimme a break.

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Response to Midnight Writer (Reply #4)

Tue May 12, 2020, 05:06 PM

29. He'll never link bu$h 1 and hoover together of course... n/t

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:07 PM

5. trump even got rid of the onsite specialist(s) on the ground in China, and then try to blame...

China for the mess. Warnings were coming in from many different directions and the idiot was out having rallies and playing golf instead of being on the job instead.

rump and ALL of his cronies have mismanaged everything...

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Response to SWBTATTReg (Reply #5)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:35 PM

25. Yep. In a nutshell....

"Warnings were coming in from many different directions and the idiot was out having rallies and playing golf instead of being on the job..."

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Response to SWBTATTReg (Reply #5)

Tue May 12, 2020, 05:10 PM

30. You forgot one: Tweeting absolute trolling material 99% covfefe... n/t

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:13 PM

6. "Trump failed to message the crisis. He not only lacks empathy; he despises empathy."

Above 2 sentences say everything.
.Last 3 words completely describe Donald Trump...... "he despises empathy."

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:24 PM

7. Those pictures of him make me want to vomit!

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Response to kimbutgar (Reply #7)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:29 PM

9. Every time I see his face

I throw up in my mouth a little.

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Response to colorado_ufo (Reply #9)

Tue May 12, 2020, 07:02 PM

34. Agreed

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:27 PM

8. That idiot has no business in the same sentence with Jimmy Carter.

 

Ugh.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #8)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:06 PM

16. I agree but stupid ass Trump doesn't know who Hoover was, of that I am sure.

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Response to Pepsidog (Reply #16)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:20 PM

21. Isn't that a vacuum cleaner?

My mom had one....



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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:31 PM

10. K&R

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:36 PM

11. Man, that's brutal. Read the whole thing....

"He's not playing three-dimensional chess. He's eating the pieces."
And
"They (Repub voters) are not hearing: 'Obama was mean to me,' they're hearing: 'I can't do this job.' "

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Response to Hekate (Reply #11)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:21 PM

22. "Eating the pieces"

I’d not heard that quote before. Loved it! And, yeah, brutal.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:50 PM

12. Carter didn't cause an economic crisis. GWB, like tRump, gave billions to the wealthy

right before an economic crash.
GWB, like trump, was arrogant and hopelessly incompetent.
GWB and tRump (and their party) swaggered onto the political scene, dismissing and denigrating the work and record of those who came before them. And then had no goddamn clue what to do when disaster struck.

So they did what they always do, they gave more money to the wealthy and patted themselves on the back for a job "well done".

Point being, the Carter comparison coming from David Frum, is myopic and self-serving.

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Response to flibbitygiblets (Reply #12)

Tue May 12, 2020, 05:14 PM

32. He forgot one-term bu$h 1 had a recession too...

Is this guy Canadian then American (or both?).
The rest is quite accurate.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:53 PM

13. First pic: He has the creepiest smile I've ever seen.

So vile. :shudder:

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:00 PM

14. Dear DUers: Frum is not saying Jimmy Carter was the same as Hoover....

...or, God forbid, Trump. Frum analyzes what he sees.

You do know Jimmy Carter lost bigly, right? Frum -- in context of pointing out how badly Trump has bungled both the economy and the health crisis -- says Hoover and Carter both lost because they could not handle their respective economic crises.

I love Jimmy Carter. He is the best former president ever. But guys, there were multiple reasons he lost, and lost badly. Don't blame Frum for noticing -- it's his job, regardless of party.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #14)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:16 PM

19. Carter lost because of the Iranian Hostage situation.

And Reagan rode in wrapped in the American flag of military might. Americans love kicking ass.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #19)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:26 PM

23. Among other things, yes indeed. I have not forgotten any of that, truly.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #23)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:34 PM

24. I know you haven't forgotten

You’re one of the most informed DUers on this site!

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:03 PM

15. There he is.. Nasty Assface. I wonder who has Lost the plot

for him.. Stephen Miller? Or is trump spewing out all his own

Mahalo for this from Frum, Well Done!,

BeSafe, Celerity!

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:11 PM

17. David Frum is one of those people who sometimes

sound sane and reasonable, but then inevitably trips over his own dick. His remark about Carter shows profound ignorant bias. All semblance of balance vanishes.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:15 PM

18. Nope, he's not that deep. He's a garden variety psychopath.

I'm annoyed by the attempts by the author to somehow elevate him to a ridiculous, phony, low level loftiness. His words are wasted on this crap president. The entire piece, full of form but void of content could be distilled down to four words, "Trump is a loser."

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #18)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:43 PM

27. Actually, I read that as Frum's point.

He says Trump isn't playing multi-dimensional chess. He's eating the pieces.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 05:13 PM

31. LOSER!

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 05:46 PM

33. Not just "short term management of the economy", but short term political campaigning for the 2020

election.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #33)

Wed May 13, 2020, 12:59 AM

35. I put NOTHING past him for the election, nothing. He will try and pull every single illegal trick.

McTurtle and Barr will have his back.

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Response to Celerity (Reply #35)

Wed May 13, 2020, 11:38 AM

37. You can bet on it. The Publicans game the system every way they can.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2020, 03:54 AM

36. trump's money-lending daddy conditioned him to hate "Loser" -- USE IT

Loser Donnie Bodybags can't handle ridicule. That's been obvious since the 2016 campaign. He telegraphs it daily.

If you make him lose his shit over it, there'll be nothing left but a tuft of fake hair on a pile of fake orange hide.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2020, 05:15 PM

38. K&R

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2020, 05:23 PM

39. K&R. Outstanding, decisive article. (nt)

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